Last Chance For More Tax Cuts This Session

Salaries of Government Employees Skyrocketed 20% and 30% from 2007 to 2010

Arkansas Median Household Income Plunged From $40,795 to 35,075 in the same time period.


Following is a letter sent to me from one of our truly conservative legislators.  See last paragraph for what he suggests.

In the last few months, advocates of lower taxes and small government have seen some success. We have been responsible for lessening the tax burden that Arkansans bear by millions of dollars.

The question before us now is about the tax relief we have already seen: should it be the beginning or the end of this session’s changes in tax policy that help our everyday, hard-working citizens?

We can certainly afford to shrink government more.  I think we need to cut at least 10 million dollars more in state government jobs, so we can lighten the tax burden on working families, small businesses,  and farmers and help our economy create jobs in Arkansas.

Here are the facts: in 2007, Arkansas's unemployment was 71,000. In 2010, it had increased nearly 50%, to 104,000. Arkansas’s median household income was $40,795 in 2007; in 2010, it had  dropped by more than $5,000 to $35,075.  Arkansas’s average hourly manufacturing pay was $14.06; in 2007, it had dropped to $13.88 in 2010.

While everyday people are struggling and making tough choices, state government was letting the good times roll. Many state government employees were the beneficiaries of a taxpayer-funded spending spree that funded enormous salary increases, springing far above our state’s economic reality.

The Department of Finance and Administration, our state's version of the IRS, increased salaries and benefits going from $106 million in 2007 to $127 million in 2010. Their payroll saw almost a 20% increase while our median household income went down over $5,000 per family.

However, the Attorney General’s office makes DF&A look like penny-pinchers. In 2007, the Attorney General’s office spent $9.4 million; in 2010, it spent $12.3 million. That’s a whopping 30% increase!

I am sure  that the tens of thousands of people who were newly unemployed during that time at least took some comfort in the fact that tax bureaucrats and state government lawyers were provided for!

Arkansas's working families, small businesses, and farmers are struggling to make payroll, come up with the mortgage payment, and deal with higher gas prices. At the same time, taxpayer-funded state government jobs in Little Rock have skyrocketed.

 Do Arkansans think their tax dollars are better spent on state government staffs in Little Rock or better left in their own purses, bank accounts, businesses, and communities?

Sadly last week a the Republican controlled House Revenue and Tax Committee voted down a tax cut to help all farmers throughout the State.

We all know that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But some legislators have decided that, because they have taken that one step, the journey is over. Anybody who really cares about tax relief should say that the tax cuts we passed are the beginning, not the end.

Some people think the citizens of Arkansas work for us, and that we have done enough for tax relief. I say that we work for them, and I say we must continue to fight for Arkansas's working families, small business, and farmers by reducing overgrown state government jobs and providing even more tax relief that will lighten burdens and create jobs.

Contact your legislator today and demand common-sense government. Tell your representative that their job is to lighten the burden of government, not just slow down how fast it is growing. There is no reason to be satisfied with tiny tax cuts when we have the ability to make broad-based rate cuts that will create jobs, businesses, and prosperity.

Posted March 29, 2011